Christie's announces highlights included in the spring sales of American Art

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Christie's announces highlights included in the spring sales of American Art
George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925), Shipyard Society, oil on panel, 30 x 38 in. (76.2 x 96.5 cm.). Painted in 1916. Estimate: $4,000,000 – 6,000,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced the spring sales of American Art will feature a superb selection of paintings, sculpture and works on paper spanning all genres of the category. Following the record-breaking auctions of American Modernist works from the Barney A. Ebsworth Collection at Christie’s in November 2018, this season offers another strong representation of American Modernist works led by the Michael Scharf Family Collection, which includes works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley and Arthur Dove, among others.

The American Art sale on May 22 is comprised of 88 lots and distinguished by rare and fresh to the market paintings, many with important provenance. The American Art online auction opens for bidding May 15-22 and features works from some of the most noteworthy American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, from Milton Avery, Edward Hopper, and Andrew Wyeth to Asher B. Durand and George Inness, with estimates starting under $5,000. All lots will be on view in Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries from Saturday, May 18-21.

The top lot of the American Art sale is Norman Rockwell’s famed Saturday Evening Post cover The Homecoming, which was printed for the May 26, 1945 issue, just eighteen days after the end of World War II (estimate: $4,500,000– 6,500,000). The timely and emotional image tells the story of a young soldier arriving home, where family, neighbors and even a love interest rush to greet him with ecstatic joy. The work was described by Post editor Ben Hibbs as “the finest cover Norman has done; in fact, I have always felt that it is the greatest magazine cover ever published.” Another fine example from the group of American Illustration in the sale is N.C. Wyeth’s painting for the novel Deerslayer, titled "She found Chingachgook studying the shores of the lake, the mountains, and the heavens..." (estimate: $700,000-1,000,000).

Among the strong selection of American Modernist works is Shipyard Society by George Bellows (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000), which is offered by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to support future acquisitions. Painted in Camden, Maine, in 1916, Shipyard Society shows two of the most famed themes of Bellows’ career; the struggle of man versus the sea along the coast of Maine, and a focus on a realistic depiction of all levels of society. Additional American Modernist highlights include Edward Hopper’s Windy Day which is sold to benefit The Prospect Hill Foundation and depicts the White River in Vermont with the adept handling of watercolor and keen understanding of light for which the artist’s works on paper are best known (estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000).

The auction includes iconic Impressionist works, including a Cos Cob interior by Childe Hassam recognized by scholars as the best of its type, a pastel example of William Merritt Chase’s famed Shinnecock, Long Island, landscapes, and a John Singer Sargent sketch after the artist’s masterwork El Jaleo in the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum. Stellar examples by the Hudson River School include works by Sanford Gifford, John Frederick Kensett and Albert Bierstadt. A strong group of Western works includes examples by Alfred Jacob Miller, Henry Farny and Taos Society artists such as Walter Ufer. The sculpture selection is led by an Augustus Saint-Gaudens once owned by Stanford White, as well as exceptional models by Gaston Lachaise, Elizabeth Catlett and Herbert Haseltine.

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